In this paper, heavy metal adsorption by ceramsite with or without Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis) immobilization was studied, and the synergetic effect of ceramsite and bacteria was discussed in detail. To investigate the roles of the micro-pore structure of ceramsite and bacteria in removing heavy metals, the amount of bacteria immobilized on the ceramsite was determined and the effect of pH was evaluated. It was found that the immobilization of B. subtilis on the ceramsite was attributed to the electrostatic attraction and covalent bond. The scanning electron microscopy results revealed that, with the presence of ceramsite, there was the conglutination of B. subtilis cells due to the cell outer membrane dissolving. In addition, the B. subtilis immobilized ceramsite showed a different adsorption capacity for different heavy metals, with the adsorption capacity ranking of La3+ > Cu2+ > Mg2+ > Na+.

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